Found February 20, 2013 on
The words 30 point loss, and Tennessee don’t normally go together when mentioning Kentucky. In this case, the Vanderbilt Commodores look to come into Rupp Arena and avenge a close loss against the ‘Cats. The ‘Dores are well aware of the shellacking that happened just down the road from their campus, and the expect the ‘Cats to be “mad and focused”. These high profile recruits were just in high school last year. Most of them rack up MVP awards and win state titles, and don’t lose by 30. How will the young ‘Cats respond now that their NCAA Tournament hopes are now officially on the line. Starting with Vanderbilt tonight, Kentucky starts a stretch of must-win games heading into the SEC Tournament. If a last-second three pointer fell in the late stages vs. Vanderbilt, and a certain shot clock call was reversed, the ‘Cats would have lost in Nashville with the services of Noel. Here are some keys to the game for the ‘Cats: Point Guard Play: The play of Ryan Harrow, or lack thereof, needs to reappear against the rest of the SEC slate for the ‘Cats to have a fighting chance of getting into the big dance. Harrow came off the bench vs. Tennessee, recording 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, and 4 turnovers. Jarrod Polson got the start, and is expected to make his 2nd career start vs. Vanderbilt. While Polson did post 11 points in the loss, he didn’t record an assist. To bounce back from the loss at Tennessee, Harrow and Polson will need to play and produce at a higher level. Youth vs. Youth: While the ‘Cats are very young, the ‘Dores do not list a single senior on their roster. The rest of the roster includes 7 freshman and 5 sophomores. Judging by the pure talent level, the ‘Cats should have the advantage by a long shot. The difference to this advantage for the ‘Cats may be determined most by the play of Kyle Wiltjer. John Calipari most notably called out Wiltjer after Vanderbilt scored on each possession they challenged him on their offensive end. Wiltjer is a sophomore, and that is experienced when it comes to this Kentucky team. However, this game will be a big measure of how much Wiljter has improved over the course of the season. Another challenge for the young ‘Dores will be Rupp Arena. How will they respond if Rupp starts rockin’? Johnson & Odom: If there are two guys that stir the drink for Vanderbilt, it’s Kendran Johnson and Rod Odum. Johnson leads the ‘Dores in points, averaging 13.7 a game. Odom is 2nd on the team in points (10.2) and rebounds (4.3) a game. Both players will be a huge problem for a struggling and porous Kentucky defense. Odom was guarded early by Kyle Wiltjer in the last meeting, and Odom scored at will. Wiltjer is better, and I’d like to think he shouldn’t be able to get on such a roll this time around. Odom has averaged 15 points per game, and has made nine 3-pointers in his last 4 games. Defense: Where art thou? Watching the Vols execute their offense to near perfection was extremely painful for anyone to watch. I hope they burned those uniforms, by the way. Vanderbilt may struggle on offense even worse than Tennessee usually does. That alone should bode well for the ‘Cats. While the rim may seem to be more open without Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein needs to stay out of foul trouble and assert himself on the block. Accepting the coaching vs. being uncoachable will be the story for the rest of the season. That story will try to continue on a better note tonight vs. another team from Tennessee. Conclusion: Vanderbilt is a sub .500 team overall, and in SEC play. The ‘Cats may be expected to win this game, and vs. Mississippi State. Going 2-4 heading into the SEC Tournament would not exactly boost the optimism around the Big Blue Nation. Being at home will help, but will not be the deciding factor for tonight’s game. In a way, I hope the Vanderbilt players and coaching staff are right. They predicted a mad, and focused Kentucky team. I would love to see a Kentucky team with an edge, a chip on their shoulder, an us against the world mentality. The character, coachability, and toughness have all been tested early and often. It is now time to respond, and that starts with a win vs. the ‘Dores.

ESPN to part ways with Bob Knight?

According to sources, ESPN reportedly does not intend to renew Bob Knight's contract following the conclusion of the college basketball season.

John Calipari’s daughter takes shot at Louisville fans over cartoon (Picture)

Rooting for injuries is never a classy thing to do, but it’s safe to say there are very few Louisville fans who are weeping over the fact that Kentucky has lost freshman Nerlens Noel for the remainder of the season. Noel, who was averaging over 10 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game, suffered a season-ending knee injury during a loss to Florida on Feb. 12. The Wildcats are now...

Calipari's daughter takes shot at Louisville fans

John Calipari's daughter, Erin, took a shot a Louisville fans in response to a cartoon about Nerlens Noel.

Dodgeball approach addresses one of many problems for Kentucky Basketball squad

Kentucky Wildcats head basketball coach John Calipari took an unconventional approach to preaching team unity Tuesday.  Calipari thought his team could benefit from a break from all the recent engulfing stress, so he decided to take them back to high school gym class with an old-fashioned game of dodgeball.  The idea, though a bit cliché, was to remind his team to have fun, and...

John Calipari’s daughter takes shot at Louisville fans

The above cartoon is from Erin Calipari, the daughter Kentucky’s basketball coach, and  in response to a Courier-Journal cartoon as seen below. Erin Calipari tweeted out the drawing with the caption, “This would be my cartoon. #UL #BBN” I know it’s in good nature, but I am not a big fan of The Courier-Journal taking a shot at Nerlens Noel, an 18-year-old, who is out for...

John Calipari had his Kentucky Wildcats play dodgeball before Vanderbilt game

 John Calipari and his Kentucky Wildcats suffered a monumental 30-point loss to the rival Tennessee Volunteers last Saturday. So, how did Coach Calipari whip his young Wildcats into shape for their next game against the Vanderbilt Commodores? Dodgeball.Yes, Coach Calipari had his team engaged in an organized dodgeball game between players and coaches on Tuesday night. On Wednesday...

John Calipari ditches basketball practice for dodgeball, but are his players “coachable” now?

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari organized a dodgeball tournament to help ease the tension of the 'Cats abysmal basketball season.

John Calipari’s daughter takes shot at Louisville with cartoon

Erin Calipari, the daughter of Kentucky head coach John, drew this cartoon and released it on Twitter in response to the Courier Journal's Nerlens Noel cartoon.

Kentucky Wildcats Get Back to Basics and Win

There can't be anything more basic when it comes to sports then remembering what it is you are doing--playing a game. What are games supposed to be? Fun. After some harsh comments following the embarrassing effort against Tennessee head coach John Calipari needed to do something more than just apologize to the players that he will have to finish the season with. He...

KyScout Video: Cats Regrouping

In this KentuckyScout video feature, UK coach John Calipari talks about the Wildcats attempting to bounce back from a 30-point loss at Tennessee without injured center Nerlens Noel.

Second Scouting Report: Kentucky

The Vanderbilt Commodores get to play the role of spoiler on Wednesday night. How much Kevin Stallings would love it if his team kept the Kentucky Wildcats out of the NCAA tournament this season.

UK fights for win vs. Vandy, 74-70

The Wildcats were ready and anxious to prove a few things against their next opponent. The Vanderbilt Commodores were the victims of the evening, as the ‘Cats looked to avenge their 30-point loss at Tennessee. With their post-season hopes on the line, looking to prove they can win without Nerlens Noel, Kentucky came out with guns firing. If you wanted hustle, you got it. If you...
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